The "Liquid Blueing" & Charcoal Crystals

I got quite a lot requests regarding a recipe for crystals made out of "liquid blueing", charcoal, ammonia and table salt.
However as I live in Germany I did not not have the slightest clue what "blueing" is, as its not used and not available in my country. So I did not have any chance to grow some by myself.

Now I can give you the following recipe :

Making A Chemical Crystal Garden


What You Need:
90 mL salt
90 mL liquid blueing
15 mL ammonia
An old pan
Pieces of coal or charcoal briquettes
Food colouring
What To Do:
Find an old pan and grease the edges with Vaseline (this prevents the mixture from going over the edge).
Place a few pieces of coal or charcoal briquettes in the pan.
Mix the salt, liquid blueing, and ammonia together.
Pour the salt mixture over the coal.
Dab drops of food colouring on top of the coal (you can use a variety of colours).
Watch your garden grow. Be patient!
What's Going On?
The crystals are formed by salt molecules joining together as the liquid evaporates into the air. The ammonia helps to speed the rate of evaporation.

What Else You Can Do:
You can grow crystals of rock candy by dissolving sugar in boiling water. Pour the hot water into a glass and dangle a piece of string into the liquid. As the liquid cools, sugar crystals appear on the string.

If you are making the sugar crystals, be sure to get an adult to help, as boiling water can be dangerous.

Believe it or not there is a complete website about liquid blueing and its US manufacturer and they have a department about the crystals. Also if you can not find their product in your local store, you can find out where to buy it or order it direct. They even have a complete crystal growing kit for sale.

Just check out
Mrs. Stewarts Liquid Blueing

(If you click on the bottle you get the offline version from CD-ROM !)